Wednesday, March 31, 2010

& The Worst Part Is Before It Gets Any Better We're Headed For A Cliff

I'm downloading the beta version of Microsoft Office 2010. It's taking quite a while to finish the last bit. In fact, I think it's been doing that bit for over an hour. It's really quite annoying. I would have stuck with Office 2007 but I only had the trial version and I see no reason to upgrade to the full version of 2007 when Office 2010 is going to be released a few months down the line. It seems like a waste of my time. I figured it would be better to just get the free beta of 2010 and get used to it so that I can purchase it later on in the year. Besides, it means that I'm helping out the people at Microsoft. I already have Windows 7 (which, incidentally, is absolutely brilliant - glad I waited to get it instead of being stuck with Vista) so Office 2010 will add to my gadget collection.

On another note, I am fairly annoyed with somebody. The only time she bothers talking to me is when she's home for long stretches and has nobody else to talk to... and all she talks to me about at these times are her boyfriend whose guts I completely hate because of the way he treats her like his own little personal lapdog. And I really don't care if he sees this. Nevertheless, it irritates me that she only remembers that I exist when she's looking at hours of boredom without her boyfriend. I know for a fact that she's been home plenty of times over the course of the semester and not once has she even bothered to say hello or ask if I want to meet up. What annoys me even more is that when she does want to see or talk to me, she can never be bothered to come see me. She always wants me to trek to her house. I feel like I'm the one doing all the work. And, if I'm honest, I don't think it's fun to be around her any more because I can't say what I really think. If I did she'd hate it. So what kind of friendship is that?

Anyway, since I had my rant about that and did thousands of other things (including making and eating dinner), Office 2010 beta has installed. This pleases me because some of the new functions look really quite cool. I've already played about with making text look as if it reflects. That was one of the primary plus reasons for me to install it. I've gone into options and made the backgrounds in all of the different office programs black, as well, because then I get less screen burn, which I really need considering the lighting in my room is utterly shoddy. So I've replaced my two pinned 2007 programs with their 2010 versions on my task bar (that's a neat trick that Windows 7 has - you can pin your favourite programs to the task bar and then you just right click them to bring up a list of projects you last worked on). I have to admit that the pinning is one of my favourite functions of Windows 7. I also love that I can make things translucent and have a background that changes at set intervals.

I seem to be getting some formspring questions from people who really have no business asking me things, too. People like this just make me sad for the rest of the human race. I mean, really, whoever you are, is there a point to you being vile to me through anonymous comments or do you seriously have nothing better to do with your time? I mean, it's bad enough that you bother to send me petty messages, but the fact that you don't even leave your name to accompany your mud slinging... well, that's just cowardice. If you want to tell me why you hate me, please feel free to do so below and sign with your name so everyone can decide whether you're right or not. Personally, I don't want to be involved in it.

(Lyrics in the title are from Turn It Off by Paramore)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Book Cover. New Entry.

Dear readers, gather 'round, gather 'round. Okay, that was patronising. I'm sorry. Don't beat me. I just like amusing myself with silly statements sometimes.

Anyway, as you can see, my friend Andrew has mocked up a book cover for my second unpublished book in the JLM Series. He's doing these off his own back and free for me. I personally think they're really well done and it makes me really thankful to have such good friends around me. The second book is called Shadows & Ghosts (in case you hadn't guessed).

I've heard on the grapevine that is twitter (from the lovely iamJaymes who cheers me up greatly with his tweets) that Stefanie Meyer has written a new novella. Unfortunately it is still following her silly saga about sparkly vampires. That still grates on me. I can see how it's a clever idea, but it's the most un-vampire thing I have ever heard. Couldn't they have glowed? Wouldn't that have been better than them looking like they've been decorating Christmas cards with small children? Maybe that's just me, but I find it stupid. And I find the number of people obsessed with it even more ridiculous. Especially when some of those people are mothers. I mean, really, what is the world coming to when mothers are convincing their daughters to read about boys who sparkly? I'm sorry, but the only boys I know who sparkle generally don't do it to attract women. I'm pretty sure that they have an entirely different agenda. I also fail to see how vampires having kids would work, as well. I mean, I'm pretty sure the guy's supposed to be dead down there unless I'm missing something and corpses really can have children. I'd explain this in more detail... but I think that clever individuals will see where I'm coming from anyway.

Anyway, I'm going to try and finish off my editing of this chapter. When I do that, I intend to write a piece about book fandom battles. It'll be fictional and basically my own little mad twist on the situation. I may post it here. Then again, I may make it too long to fit here and just link off to it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Hero, The Guilty, & The Innocent Are The Characters We Play In Life

I haven't posted properly in quite a while. This is mostly because I've been suffering what we now know is an abhorrent sleeping pattern. I kid you not. These beasts will ruin your waking hours and your natural habits. I've just eaten chocolate brownies for breakfast at nearly four in the afternoon. This is what my life has become.

I was actually really tired at a normal time last night... but then I couldn't sleep because certain characters decided to start an argument about a scene I haven't even written yet. At least they're enthusiastic, I suppose. Still, it's not an excuse to keep me up all night with discussions about this and that happening. It makes it especially difficult to shut one of them up, as well, because she's a werewolf and doesn't take any crap from anybody. That rule also applies to me. It's nice to know that your characters are so real that they take on a mind of their own... at the same time, though, I wish I could control them. It would help me to make sure they followed the plot properly instead of going off on little tangents of their own. I should write them a letter. It would start thus:

Dear Characters,
You are fictional. Please remain fictional.
I somehow doubt that they would listen, though. I mean, I'm just their lowly writer. All I do is write about their escapades whilst they actually get involved in them. Apparently I'm being sent a letter from their lawyers about compensation claims in regards to the various injuries that they have suffered working for me. Personally, I don't think this is fair. Why can't I claim money off them for keeping me up all night and turning me into a paranoid wreck?

Anyway, I forgot to tell you how the ballet went. My mother has always wanted to see a ballet, so as her Mother's Day present, we arranged to go see one. It was Swan Lake. It was very good, even though I did feel slightly put out by the lack of dialogue. I know that ballet isn't supposed to have dialogue, but, well... it just seemed a bit odd. However, watching pretty strong guys prance about in tights was very enjoyable. I thought the jester was especially nice... until my mum pointed out that she thought he looked like my friend and therefore she ruined the entire scene I had playing out in my head. I won't tell you about that scene. I don't want to get sued by a ballet jester for sexual harassment  as well as getting sued by my own characters. So, I had to find more entertainment, which came in the form of a very cute usher. He was tall and he had longish hair... and I really wasn't staring at him... I was just... looking in that direction and... musing. He was looking in our direction too, but that may have been because we were near the exit and there was another usher behind us.

Nevertheless, I can't escape an evening out with my mother without being embarrassed in some way. The first embarrassing act was that as I was leaving some old guy (and by this, I mean, I think he was a pensioner) thought it would be funny to call out that he was over there as if I'd been looking for him. I seem to be getting this a lot now. It must be a new sign that I've acquired above my head that says I'm an easy target for old men. It's probably sitting right next to the sign that makes people think I'm more intelligent than I really am.

The next embarrassing thing involved the poor usher. He'd helped somebody out in a wheelchair and as he was coming back with it my mum thought that it would be a good idea to say loudly, "Oh look, Rebecca! You could have asked him to carry you out! Maybe you should give him your number!" I can affirm that I maintained eye contact with the floor and told my mother to shut up through tight lips as the poor guy looked up at me whilst we passed by. This is a very good reason why I don't go out with my mum.

(Lyrics in the title are from Characters by The Elation)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mr Ben & Mr Jerry - My Best Chocolate Friends

LotR version of Milkshake and some of my random rambling for you today. The journal entry title is, of course, in reference to ice cream and one of my favourite lines from Bridget Jone's: The Edge of Reason:

I am enjoying a relationship with two men simultaneously. The first called Ben - the other Jerry. Number of current boyfriends... zero.
I'm doing the same thing at the minute. The zero boyfriends thing also applies, but who cares. If I ended up with Daniel Cleaver (again) I might cry. I've had one of those guys before. In fact, he used a similar name to Daniel Cleaver as his log-in on a site. I won't mention who he was. I personally don't want him popping up on here and giving me grief... or even being nice. That would be... odd, to say the least, and as that part of my life is now over, I see no real reason to dwell on it. I've made a post about it that will feature on Leslee Horner's blog about moments that make you click. So if you want to read it, then I'll leave a link once it's been posted. Another Bridget quote (the book is by Helen Fielding and I assure you that it's a very good read... though I did personally love her Olivia Joulles and the Overactive Imagination - it started out as something I wouldn't normally pick up and ended in a way that made me feel I was normal because my imaginative paranoia could really come true!) that I rather love, comes at the end of the first film and is this:

Bridget: Wait a minute... nice boys don't kiss like that. 
Mark Darcy: Oh, yes, they fucking do.
I'd like to say they do... but I've never kissed a truly nice boy. In fact, I could only really describe my last ex as being in the same vein as Mr Darcy because... well, he was an arrogant arse sometimes, too, and quite a lot of people thought that of him. Why am I continuing with this verbal diarrhoea when I could be winning a game of dingbats? I have no idea either. I shouldn't really talk about him. I get the feeling he could discover this and make snarky comments about what are essentially my thoughts. And if he was a 'nice boy' then I suppose my previous statement is null and void, because I'll begrudgingly admit he wasn't bad and move decidedly onto a new subject. 

Somebody started a facebook page with the title 'Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard, And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"' Of course, this prompted me to continue the song in my head. The original lyrics are Milkshake by Kelis but this is the Lord of the Rings version. I hope it makes you smile:

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

You know you want it
The ring that makes you hoard it
What Boromir goes crazy for...
He lost his mind,
Fell and died
I think I sighed

la la-la la la,
Hands on swords now
la la-la la la,
The orcs are coming

la la-la la la,
Hands on swords now
la la-la la la,
The orcs are coming

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

You know you want it
Steal it from that hobbit
He's already mad
Changed inside
Lost his mind
Yes, Sam cried

la la-la la la,
Frodo's crazy
la la-la la la,
Fellowship's breaking

la la-la la la,
Frodo's crazy
la la-la la la,
Fellowship's breaking

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Soon you're separated,
Saruman will fell the trees-and,
They will come and take him down.
Bring on the little hobbits
And their two tiny swords.
Then Gollum steals the ring,
Takes Frodo's finger too,
Down into the fire mountain,

la la-la la la,
Lost it now,
la la-la la la,
Sauron is crying,

la la-la la la,
Took him down,
la la-la la la,
Hobbits are winning

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Gandalf brings all the orcs to the yard,
And he's like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
And I'm like, "Where's Legolas?"
He could hit you, but he's not hard.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Ephemeral Style. In A Melancholy Town Where We Never Smile

Title song lyrics from a fitting song [Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz] today, I think. I haven't been feeling totally great lately, as you may have guessed from the lack of real journal posts going on. Today, I feel like my usual crazy self. I bet you're all so pleased... or you've decided to move to another country to get away. So, I was at a really low ebb last night. Not as low as I have been in the past, but still a low ebb. I felt like rubbish and that everything, similarly, was pointless. I couldn't be bothered with editing and I'd vowed not to start Shattered Glass (or whatever similar name that I intend to call it eventually) until I'd finished my editing. I also said that in between editing, I would write some more of Frosted Glass, which my friend (who I mention too much, but here we go again: Andrew McClusky AKA NAL Games) intends to make his first indie 3D game around.

For those of you who don't know, indie games means those independently made games that you discover on the 'net in such places as the YoYo Games forums or GameJolt or my brother's site, They're made on private computers and aren't backed by huge companies. People hoping to be game makers seem to start out here. Andrew already seems to have a fairly big following. His games tend to be strangely abstract and he always gives them bizarre names, for example, one of his most popular games is called madnessMADNESSmadness sometimes abbreviated to mMm (and lord help you if you don't capitalise it correctly!). All of his games, so far, have been in 2D, but he's wanted to a game with a storyline closer to a novel for some time and, since I agreed to write him a storyline, it's given him an excuse to start using 3D graphics.

Anyway, returning from my little tangent, I was just feeling terrible and rubbish. I had nothing to do because of the restrictions I'd set on myself and I didn't reckon I could really do any justice to the opening scene of book four, anyway. This left me little choice as to what to do. After a while of talking to a friend and reminiscing on things that really shouldn't be reminisced upon for the sake of my own health, I decided I'd rewrite a scene that I've had hanging around for a while, ready to be placed into book four. At first it was more an exercise to improve the scene as my writing has improved since I first wrote it and my view on the characters involved has evolved. I didn't finish the scene because it was getting to the point where I couldn't type coherently, but I did start feeling like I hadn't felt in several years.

I got that old feeling that, no matter what was going to happen, everything would be alright.

I haven't had that feeling in years, most probably because an awful lot of absolute... well, yeah, you get the point. And all this junk just piled up on me. After a while, that kind of depressing stuff weighs a girl down. But now I'm feeling optimistic. Hopefully this feeling will stay for a while. I want it to.

(Lyrics in the title are from Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blowing Through The Windchimes

I thought I'd give you some poetry this evening. I'm not really in the mood to write a long journal post right now because I know it will turn into some pathetic mush that you probably won't want to hear about. I wouldn't blame you. I don't want to hear about it either. So I found a poem I wrote some time ago and hoped that you'd like to hear it. So here goes:

Man Doth Hurt Man

Wrap it up in chicken wire, 
Check it beats with bullets and fire.
Hold your head high
Still reach up for the sky
Don't think of the pain
Ripping through your skin again.
Don't stumble - "Your heart!
Don't fall apart!
Just keep marching to this drum!
Keep singing, don't hum!"
This tuneless tune
As you shoot for the moon
And miss entirely on purpose.
They don't make a fuss -
"Keep marching! Don't cuss!
Back straight! Head tall!
You're aiming for the fall!"
This is the battle to lose.
This is the life we didn't choose.
It beats beneath the chicken wire.
It's writhing but with some inner fire...

For all is lost now...
For all is lost...
We don't know how...

Imagine the cost...

And with a steady flow,
The blood still burns.
On and on the soldiers go,
Though nothing in them yearns.
Now they only know to fight
Despite this endless night
That seeps in all around their tired forms
And empty, silenced, inner storms. 

Man doth hurt man
As only he can
That way they both understand
As they both march in the same band
And if man doth hurt woman?

And with that the soldiers ran...

When the new site goes up properly, I hope to transfer all of my poetry there. I'm hoping to put it in order relative to when I wrote it so that people can see how much my command of language and form has improved. That's what I hope, anyway, but it may not be the case. You may end up wishing I'd never continued writing such twaddle, but I sincerely hope not.

I'll probably write a proper journal entry tomorrow. I just don't feel like I'm in the proper frame of mind tonight. When I am, I'll let you know... unless somebody wants to mail me a large slab of chocolate. No? Didn't think so, but it was worth a try. I hope you enjoy the poem. I think it's about a year and a half or maybe two years old. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flash Fiction No.3

Flash fiction statement was provided by the Random Sentence Generator. If you would like to contribute a flash fiction statement then please comment below.

The root echo lusts...

It felt good being human again.

The girl in the cafe flexed her fingers around the fork she was holding. The girl wasn’t strong but she would do until Echo could change bodies. Maybe an older model would suit her better. She looked across at the girl’s father and smiled sweetly. He didn’t notice. He just kept on eating his pie with its thick crust of glutinous death attached. Echo didn’t have that problem. Her eyes glittered and she sliced at the girl’s meagre helping of fruit sundae. The raspberries burst in her mouth like ripened orgasms of juice. It dripped over her lips and she sucked it in slowly.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

But You. But You Write Such Pretty Words...


Which is code for: I finished the last chapter and I'm eating a victory ham sandwich.

Although, if I'm honest, I think the bread has gone off. So, I'll stop eating. How disgusting. I may have to eat a victory chocolate bar instead. I'm not a calorie counter, but going on size, I'm going to say that it's healthier for me. Eventually, I'll figure out that there is something drastically wrong with this theory and that over the course of being victorious I have, indeed, outgrown my house. There are various problems involved with outgrowing one's house. The first problem is that you then have to wear the house as a form of clothing because until you start wasting away... there's no way that house is going to let you wriggle out of the biggest window or door. In fact, you may need to take the roof off and live in a circus tent until you've dieted... a lot. Secondly, you won't be able to reach your computer. This means that you'll have to drag your sorry arse (house attached) to the nearest library and lean in through the window to type. Of course, you won't be able to press the keys properly and therefore be unable to type any sense whatsoever. If you choose to read to while your time away, you will sadly be unable to turn the pages in your book as your hands will be absolutely massive. You might as well just give up on everything... unless you're a prankster. In which case, your only use is to pretend that you are actually a house and creep up on groups of people. When they least expect it, attack!

This is guaranteed to terrify everybody you jump out at to death.

I don't know about you, but if a house-sized, house-wearing person jumped out at me... I'd be pretty damn scared. You also have to make sure that you don't accidentally jump out onto the people you're trying to scare. A nice little prank on various family members could turn into a trip to the hospital for your elderly relatives and a trip to the morgue for that hated aunty you stepped in. Stepping in aunts, no matter how hateful, may cause tension with parents and is thus not advised.

I think I must be tired. I only write such bizarre drivel when I'm tired. Don't let me put you off eating, though. Nothing should put you off eating.

Just don't become house-sized.

This has to be my most random entry yet. I should probably crack on with talking about something that is actually news. I guess one thing is that I've been helping my friend sort out the navigation bar etc for the new site. He's also successfully iframed this in, which you'll get to see when he's completed the site. My formspring has been iframed in as well. The link is still at the side if you want to ask me anything there. Really, I don't mind. I get bizarre questions anyway.

Something that has annoyed me, however, was my younger brother. He always annoys me. I may blog about how much quite a lot so please feel free to ignore me when I do so. It's just because I need a release. Anyway, he irritated me this morning because I went to use the bathroom next to my room. I couldn't. He'd stuffed loads of loo roll in it again and just left it. So I went to use the other one, not realising he was in there faffing about with his hair or whatever he does. I got yelled at about how I was everywhere and he hated me. On the upside, that meant he left and I actually got to use the toilet (I know. This is just thrilling stuff, isn't it? Be thankful I didn't go into too much detail). On the downside, he went to his room, cranked up the volume on his stupid screamo music (that was loud anyway) and started singing along. Also loud. So by the time I'd barely been awake five minutes, I'd been yelled at and had a headache. The bit that made me really angry, however, was when I went to get a shower and there was no hot water. So yes, I've spent most of the day looking even more like a hobo than usual. Men annoy me. If I knew how to change my internal preferences to women, I would... though I suspect we may be just as problematic.

Also, I may write another piece of flash fiction when I've finished writing the Epilogue of Secrets (I bet you're sick of hearing about it now). This means that, if you have any random sentences you want me to make a piece of flash fiction out of, you should comment below. Thanks and don't outgrow your house!

(Lyrics in the title are from Lover I Don't Have To Love by Bright Eyes)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Found A Boy Who Had A Dream Making Everyone Smile

Today, every attempt to write more of Chapter 23 of Secrets has been thwarted by interruptions.

Firstly (which was not so much an interruption as I said hello to Andrew and discovered he was editing the book cover design he had created me), I helped with my opinions and image searching to edit the book cover of Dark Side of the Moon that my friend designed. It looks even better than it did and I think he's even more of a genius with graphics. He's going to be designing the graphics for my new site. Personally, I reckon that this will make the site even more fantastic than I could have originally designed. He has a knack of being able to figure out exactly what I want from the mass of congealed matter that makes up my brain. Anyway, results of today's editing are below so you can tell me what you think of his lovely design:

Secondly, I've had lots of people trying to talk to me about various things... which is fine... but I don't need the distractions right now. I want to get Secrets finished instead of getting sidetracked (you could probably argue that this is sidetracking me, but I wanted to mention all the stuff I needed to mention so I could continue on with Secrets). I know people don't mean to distract me, but they always seem to know when I'm on a roll with whatever I'm writing and they just barge in with their hellos. I'm maybe being a little dramatic, but you have to admit that it is frustrating. Other people might say that I should just ignore whoever they are. I would do, but then I feel inordinately mean by not speaking to them. Dreadful, isn't it?

Nevertheless, a friend instant messaged me and he's started doing some writing of his own. His introduction to his piece can be found here and I'm sure that if any of you can provide him with feedback, then he'd be really appreciative. Personally, I think it's an excellent start. His narrative voice is really strong and it draws you in and interests you straight away. To say that it's not something I would normally pick to read, I'm glad I did. The title doesn't really make me jump at it, but the actual writing of the piece is engaging and does make me want to read more. The writing is humorous, too, as if you're listening to your friend describe something that has happened to him or her whilst you wait for the bus to arrive. My point is, I enjoyed it.

He's also told me that he uses some freeware especially for writers to type in. I'm reliably informed that it's a useful tool... and also that, if you want it to, you can set it so that it makes typewriter noises whilst you write. I think he finds this particular feature the best. Personally, I wouldn't use it, but that's because I'm rather set in the system I have for my writing. Nevertheless, it seems like something that could work for a lot of people so I thought I'd give it a quick mention. It's called Q10. At first, I thought Didrik was trying to say I needed some skin care for wrinkles (I should hope I don't have wrinkles. I'm only twenty!), but I had a look for it on the 'net and it seems to have a number of good features. Despite this, I still don't want to swap MS Word for it, but everybody is comfortable with different things. I've linked to it, anyway, so you can have a gander for yourself. It may or may not suit you. If you're like my friend Didrik, though, you'll love it just for the typewriter noises. It seems to work for him anyway.

Something else that I want to mention is my friend's online magazine. I've mentioned it before, but this is Greyson's second issue of OverByte and it still seems to be doing really well. It looks a lot more professional now and he's had a lot more support getting the latest issue sorted. It's primary audience are independent game makers on the internet. I'm not a game maker but I did skim it for the jokes and the ending comic, which were all thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, it's nice to see how far he's come along with it. On a private note, I think it's helped build his confidence a lot too. In a weird way that makes me really proud of him. So, in support of my friend, you can find OverByte at its own site and, if you're an indie game maker and you'd like to write articles for the next issue, you can register to audition.

(Lyrics in the title are from Oxygen by Colbie Caillat)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Spider's Web Is Tangled Up With Me

I need a job. That's the basics of my life at the moment. 

I need to get a job so I can afford my own car and the doubtless high insurance that will come with it. And then, when I get a job, I can see about sending my manuscript off to an agent. It costs so much to send and I'm so broke that I can't afford it. Not to mention that my family are broke at the moment too, not that my brother cares nor helps. I seem to be the only one who has all the family problems reported to her and reports none of her own because she doesn't want to stress anybody else out.

And I'm sick of having to listen to my brother playing his crap music so loudly that even with his door closed and my door closed, plus with the television on in here, I can still hear it... and my room is on the opposite side of the house to his. I'm sick of the way he talks to me and everyone else in this house like we're something he wiped off the soul of his shoe. I'm sick of the way he stresses everybody out in our family. He gets tonnes of stuff and in return all he gives is grief without even a thank you. 

Sadly, I'm in one of those moods where the only thing that will do is screaming or crying and I can't do either right now. I wish he would turn his music off, grow up and become somebody halfway decent. There's no reason for the way he behaves except that he is spoilt and selfish. I want to get down on the floor and cry in a little heap. There are things going on in my head that I can't discuss here for a change (you're probably glad - I mean, one less depressing thing for me to whine about, right?) and they're stressing me out too. I don't know what I'm going to do about them, but I aim to sort them over this Easter holiday. I've done the whole teenage figuring out who I really am thing. I finally know who I am and what I want and what I'm willing to do to get there. I only wish that the people who are supposed to support me had supported me in working that out and hadn't just hurried me along into decisions I wasn't ready to make. Luck hasn't been exactly kind lately, either. There just seems to be too much going on in my head. And there's the fact that I still wake up thinking of my ex, which I should be over by now, surely.

I think I'm going to try using my melancholy mood to write the final scenes of Book Three, Secrets, of my JLM Series. It needs to be completed. And this kind of mood is the kind that will allow me to concentrate on a different world for hours on end and stay comfortably entrenched there. Who knows? It could even propel me to complete the twenty-third chapter and finish off the epilogue.

In other news, I'm going to put up a poll in regards to what you think of the flash fiction I've been writing on here. This is so that if you have an opinion on what I've been writing but you don't necessarily want to leave a comment, then you will have a place to share your thoughts. I'd much prefer you left a comment (especially if you have a random sentence that you think could provoke some really good flash fiction), but I guess less is more. It's nice to see some feedback on my flash fiction from new people, as well. 

I just want everyone to know that, whilst I may not reply to all comments, I do really appreciate them and thank you for taking the time to read what I've written as well as to leave a little something from yourself.

Also, if you want to ask me any questions please do refer to my formspring even though my friend Tim has been trying to make me guess who's questioning me whilst he pretends he's an anonymous person. It's amusing to me, but I appreciate that you might not care to read our weird discussions on furbies, pokemon and other such geeky stuff.

(Lyrics in the title are from Trouble by Coldplay)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Flash Fiction No.2

Flash fiction statement was provided by Andrew McCluskey (NALGames). If you would like to contribute a flash fiction statement then please comment below.

I'm standing in a world of immortality. Everyone else is dead.

The sky rippled red thunder and golden lightning. Shadows speared and stabbed the rocky land. Nothing moved. Dust smeared the rocks like paint. The body lay in the middle of the sand, untouched by the grainy wind except for a few dark curls that wriggled around her head. She lay there without breathing. Cracks of thunder burned the blazing sky.

Everything on the planet was dead but the wind.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

& Dreams Came Around You In A Hazy Rain

The penultimate chapter of Secrets is complete!

I am really pleased. I've been slaving over it for quite a few days. It's been a while coming. It's also been the first time I've written a battle scene. I'm hoping that I've done it some justice, but I'll leave that up to the opinion of my proof reader who will, unfortunately for him, also be helping me edit. I am, however, really quite proud of it. It seems to have worked out well. The last chapter should go even better and then it's the Epilogue to wrap everything up, before I move onto Book 4...

Book 4 may or may not be entitled Shattered Glass for mysterious reasons that I shall not reveal. However, what I will say about Shattered Glass is that things get darker, dirtier, more dangerous and downright sexier. Things happen to Jocasta (that's my MC) that don't usually happen to any MC. There will be more battles, more smut, more vampires, more werewolves, more torture and more fun for me to write. I admit that I get a sadistic thrill out of tearing my characters apart and Shattered Glass will allow for exactly that. I won't say how, but, if you read it, then you will be in for a rocky ride.

Something that I'd like to know (so I don't feel so alone and psychotic, I suppose) is... Does anybody else name some of their inanimate objects? I named a huge, grey cat teddy Horace, my blind monkey (yes, he has no eyes and, yes, that's because my dog ate them) teddy George Reggae and my fake owl Neil. Now you may say that that is a fairly acceptable naming exercise. However... I have also named my laptop and camera. My old laptop was called Persephone after the Greek goddess. I decided, when I got this one (it's a Dell lollipop laptop as my friend Bekkie insists!), that the P theme should continue and decided on calling this one Peregrin after the hobbit in Lord of the Rings. Of course, that meant I could shorten it to Pippin as I'd shortened Persephone to Persy. My camera also got named when I got it. He's called Jeremy after one of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld characters. I'd just finished reading Stolen (awesome book that I advise you buy like... yesterday) when I got the camera so I guess that was why I decided on it instead of one of her other characters that I liked. Otherwise it might have been named Robyn (Living With The Dead) or Derek (Darkest Powers YA trilogy), but, if I'm honest, I don't like the name Derek.

I love Kelley's (I hope she doesn't come by here and tell me off for using her first name but, if she does see it and is offended, I promise to edit the post) portrayal of Derek, but I just don't like his name. Naturally, when I'm reading it, I couldn't care less about his name - I just wonder when he's going to get with Chloe. This might be an indication that I get a bit too involved in what I'm reading and writing. I can't help but to get way too involved with the things that Kelley Armstrong has written. I suppose it's quite pathetic really. I turn into this horrible fangirlish (yes that is really a word and not something I've made up... at all) mess and squeal every time something I find exciting happens. I hope I'm not the only one who does this. And I hope it doesn't compare me to those kids and bizarre fully grown women who like Twilight (I won't offer my views on that here as I don't want to be mean... However, if there was a Harry Potter fans versus Twilight fans war in a muddy field in England one day... The HP fans would win.). Sometimes I consider writing what I think the HP/Twilight fan battle would be like. I haven't yet, but maybe I'll do it as a piece of flash fiction one day and you can read it - just for kicks.

Anyway, I'll stop wittering now as I think my attention span is somewhat failing. This may be because I'm either too tired or... No. I think I'm just tired.

(Lyrics in the title are from Globes and Maps by Something Corporate)

Monday, March 15, 2010

If It Looks Like I'm Laughing, I'm Really Just Asking To Leave...

Rebecca announced to her mother today - is how I would like to start this entry, but I'm not going to. When I do, the likelihood is such that I will write about it here anyway. As it is, now wouldn't be a great moment to talk to her about it. I'm thoroughly wound up. She's only just dropped it on me that there's no car to get to uni tomorrow (she said she told me last week, but somehow I doubt that. If she had, I would have made plans because my memory is not as shot as hers is). I don't have any money on me to get the bus or train. The train works out over a tenner for a one way ticket and our station is pretty much on the opposite side of the town to me. The train I'd have to catch would be 7.24am.. then, when I get there, I have to climb a huge effen hill to get to uni (basically the middle of town to the edge). And, of course, I have the trouble of getting back. Now, my alternative is the bus. The bus would be 7.05am and £8.50 for a return ticket. Fine... except these buses never appear when they're supposed to appear and this is the only sodding one that goes the full way in an hour! Oh, and I finish at half four so I would miss that goddamn bus back and have to wait another effen hour to get home!!!

Can you tell that I'm feeling most unpleasant right about now?

I really am so very angry. That's why I'm writing it out on here because otherwise I may just snap or break something by accident. I tend to get quite heavy handed when angry (purely by accident, of course). I've had a horrible day, anyway. I had to go on the bus today. It takes an hour and a half. And all the way back I was sat next to some old bloke with a chip on his shoulder who was drinking beer out of a can and smoking. And he didn't get off for the whole goddamn journey. And just to add to that, I already a bloody headache from the journey there! Oh, and when I got there, it was an effen maths lecture that basically taught us about eff all!

Don't you just wish you were in a room with me, right now?

It wouldn't matter if you were, to be perfectly honest. In a pathetic little way, I just internalise stuff like this as nobody really listens anyway. One day, I'll go batty and attack somebody with a flower or something stupid. Then they'll lock me up and, in deep therapy sessions, discover that all of my psychotic episodes are down to the little ball of unreleased anger sitting in the pit of my stomach.

If I wasn't so annoyed, then I'd write about something else I planned to talk about on here. Whatever it was that I planned to talk about will probably have to wait until tomorrow. I may even refuse to go and blame it on my mother; though, at this rate, I will probably give myself a fully blown migraine and simply not be able to go because of vomiting and head pain and general migraine related trauma. If I do, I'll probably be even angrier. Migraines make me terribly tetchy.

(lyrics in the title are from The Sharpest Lives by My Chemical Romance)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I Really Need Is What Makes Me Bleed

No blog post yesterday. I bet you were all so very sad that you couldn't read about my terribly exciting life (was that a roll of your eyes?) . To tell the truth, I spent most of the day covered in dust, trying to sort my desk out. You'll be pleased to know that I now have enough space to house at least some of my junk. I need more, but this will have to do for the minute. I'll probably take a photo of it in a minute and let you have a look at it. My walls are covered in photos, art, a family tree for one of my characters and plenty of other stuff that is either useful or has just been accumulated over the years. I live quite a cluttered existence. Perhaps that statement's worth is increased by the simple fact that I have far too much stationary on my desk. I even have calligraphy quills and pots of ink. I have pretty much nowhere to put all these pens etc. They're currently stuffed in two pen pots, a Christmas cookie tin, a red glass goblet and a metal goblet. My paintbrushes are all embedded into some foam that cushioned my laptop when I got it. Unfortunately, I really do have to create such structures to house my belongings. In the opposite corner of the room, for example, I have a shelf type thing on which my bathroom stuff stands (I can't keep it in the bathroom because my brother is secretly a girl and uses more bathroom products than I have a care to count in a matter of seconds), which I created out of a shoe box and its lid. It's not very sturdy but it serves its purpose.

So my major accomplishment yesterday was to create some more workspace. You can never have enough workspace. After that I went out for a nice night with a good friend. Sadly for you (yeah, I bet you're weeping your heart out right now... not) there were no pictures of said night out as I couldn't fit my camera in my bag. Weird events unfurled, but that was mainly guys trying it on and them definitely getting nowhere. Then there was dancing and then there was home. We saw quite a lot of people that we knew, last night, as well. It seems some people are home for the Easter break already. Some of them it was nice to see. Others weren't so nice.

Shortly, I plan to get a cuppa rosie lea, as we say here (that means a nice hot mug of tea), and then I'm probably going to continue with the last two chapters of Secrets and maybe even write the epilogue. It might take me a lot longer than that, though.

In other news, I've joined technorati, which is a site to promote your blogs. It lets other people find them through their tag system and it also allows users to review your blog. Incidentally, if you have an account and wanted to review this then you can find a link to its technorati page on the right (where all my links are kept - you're probably sick of me repeating that right now). That's not to compel you to do so, by the way; it's just so that if you want your thoughts to be heard about the content of this blog and whether you think others should or should not read it then you can. Obviously, I appreciate any comments you want to make below each post as well.

I haven't written any more flash fiction yet, but it will be done when I get around to it. However, I do only have one more statement suggestion for it. So if you do want to give me a suggestion then I'd appreciate it either in a comment below this post or the post that outlines what flash fiction is so that you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into. And this is my first piece of flash fiction if you wanted an idea of what will happen to your provided statement. My last post on here also highlighted how you can find the different pieces of flash fiction that I intend to write on here. I hope that helps you. And if you want to ask me any questions then please feel free to use my formspring (links to the right - again) account - you don't even need an account to ask me questions!

(Lyrics in the title are from Volcano by Damien Rice)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This Chaos, This Calamity, This Garden Once Was Perfect

As you may have noticed, my first piece of flash fiction went up today. So let me explain my little tags to help you find it. I'm tagging all of my flash fiction pieces as such 'flash fiction'. This means that when you go in my labels box, on the right, then you can click to find all of these thus tagged posts. It will give you a list of them in order of most recent first. Secondly, they will also be tagged with 'flash fiction 500' or 'flash fiction 1000' according to the word count of the post. It may not be exactly that as I've given myself a ten percent leeway. This means that I can go over or under the word count by ten percent. Hopefully, that will help you to understand the terms I've set out. If you want to suggest something that I should use to write flash fiction then please do so.

I've also been editing Dark Side of the Moon. I know I keep going on about this, but really it's just to inform you of what I get up to. Furthermore, I sometimes like to discuss the new things I've edited in. I have to admit that I am incredibly pleased with the effect that the edits are having. They've improved the story immensely. When I finally finish the editing process, I'll be really proud of it. Andrew seems to be enjoying it, anyway. Even if I say so myself, the editing has improved the drama and the quality of writing threefold. I'm nearing three quarters of the way through it and the editing has added on about 20, 000 words to my total word count. Normally, I think, editing depletes your word count, but this hasn't. I have deleted things, but I've also added in a lot of stuff that has vastly improved the story.

I've also spent today taking doors off my wardrobe to use in building extra bits on to my desk. I really haven't got enough space in my room to do things and put things away. It's dreadful. That's why I designed a bit to add on to my desk. The desk is something that was thrown together by my mum, anyway, so it's not going to look too bizarre. I'm putting curtains up, too, in place of my wardrobe doors. I've figured that this will make it look a bit neater, anyway. The only problem I now have is that it's past one o'clock in the morning and all of my stuff is on my bed because my dad didn't finish it off today. So I'm going to have to move my junk and my TV off my bed. It will all have to go on the floor because there is literally nowhere else to put it. This is why he irritates me. You try to get something done and if you need his help he stalls and ums and ahs and then it's a year before you can finish off. I mean, I even took all the doors off the wardrobes by myself whilst he sat and watched TV. If he'd helped then we would have finished with that part of my desk and I could have got into bed without having to move so much stuff. Men annoy me - this is a recurring sentiment that you will see a lot when I'm frustrated or angry with various members of my family and other people.

Also, the poll has closed. Thus, The Secrets Were Spilling At The Seams will be henceforth renamed as just Secrets. I realise that this isn't quite as long as the other title, but it is far less clunky. I will get around to editing things so that the new title is visible instead on websites. However, this will be done some time tomorrow - after I've done all that I need to do and got my desk sorted. I haven't written any more of the ending of Secrets, but that will get sorted soon, too. It's a complex thing that I have to do so bear with me whilst I gab on about it in future posts. It will take me a while.

I'll probably find something new to add in as a poll, just for interest's sake. If I do, it might not have anything to do with what I write in here (though I don't suppose anyone would notice if that was the case). It might even be a 'How do you like your eggs?' thing.

Anyway, I shall try to get myself some sleep (once I've extricated my bed from underneath the mess) and I will probably update you tomorrow. Goodnight dear readers.

(Lyrics in the title are from Wine Red by The Hush Sound)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flash Fiction No.1

Flash fiction statement was provided by Andrew McCluskey (NALGames).

I've woken up in a nature reserve with half a packet of breath mints in my duffel coat pocket...

His eyes felt sticky. Was this what a rusty hinge felt like? He cranked open his eyes and peered around. This wasn’t good. His neck felt stiff. It was no wonder considering that he had spent the late November night sleeping on the hard ground. Wild flowers that had been caught in the frost brushed his cheek. He laid there and stared up at the sky, certain that nobody could see him through the long grasses and the brambles. The nature reserve hummed with peaceful life.

His was not a peaceful life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Emerging from the Gentle Grip of Night's Unfolding Arms

I'm considering writing some flash fiction on here in the future. If you're unaware as to what that entails, then listen up, please:

Flash fiction is where you write a piece of fiction based on an idea or a statement that you are given. You go with whatever you think of when you get the statement, phrase, question or idea etc. Then, you complete a writing piece on it in either a set number of words or a set time.

Because it's so quick and spontaneous (hence the name flash fiction) it's supposed to be a really good way to build up your writing skills (as well as padding those portfolios!), which is why I'm going to start writing pieces. I'm going to add them here and each piece will be titled with 'Flash Fiction No.#' so that they will be easier for you to find. Not only that, but I will be tagging them with 'flash fiction 500' and 'flash fiction 1000' according to how many words I write of each. Pieces may not end up complete as these are literally just quick writing exercises, but hopefully you will enjoy reading through them. I don't want to write just anything, though, so, if you have a suggestion for a statement that I can base a piece of flash fiction on, please comment below and I will write a piece based on it. These pieces may not be terribly long, but it will help me to improve my writing and for you to see what I can do.

Your flash fiction statement will probably end up being written about, so please comment with one!

Another thing to mention is my formspring account. I know that I keep going on about it, but I'd really like to hear if you have any questions. They can be about my writing or even just something you generally want help with. I'll try my best to satisfactorily answer the questions that you pose. More questions, however, mean that I get to expand more of them on here if I think I can give you more information and, let's face it, I clearly love rambling on here.

IMPORTANTLY, (yes I had to caps lock to make sure I got your attention) the poll finishes tomorrow so if you want to get your vote heard then please click on your favourite title on the right.

I thought I would show you the book cover for the first book in the JLM Series, Dark Side of the Moon, which has been designed by Andrew McCluskey (NALGames). This is the current design, but he's said he'd like to edit it further. I'm not sure when he'll get around to this, so you can have a look at it's current state. Personally, I really like it, which is great as Andrew is the one in charge of the graphical content of my new site. He's also going to be in charge of the flash content. Sean Buller (UnknownGamer), my lovely Canadian friend, is the one in charge of the coding. When they've finished my site and set up one of their own to promote their website building skills, I'll give you a link so that you can take a long hard look at what they can do. What they can do is brilliant, though, and they're willing to learn new skills to get you what you want. The design of the book cover below, for example, was taken from an amalgamation of ideas that I gave Andrew. None of them were very set because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted, but he's managed to come up with something I adore and, when he has a moment, he intends to edit it a little more to make it just that bit more awesome.

I'm still editing Dark Side of the Moon. Nevertheless, I am getting closer to the end of that. The last scenes of Secrets/Spilling Secrets are looking good, even if I say so myself. I'm taking it slowly, though, to make sure that I hammer out every minute detail and get it as perfect as I possibly can. If it's not perfect, then it just won't do. Lots happens in it and there are some tense and emotional moments. Furthermore, I think it will beautifully illustrate how much some of the characters have developed since Dark Side of the Moon and how they've grown up from the stroppy teens they were, amongst other things.

Anyway, please remember to comment with statements for flash fiction pieces and don't forget to leave me some formspring questions. Thanks!

(Lyrics in the title are from You Are The Moon by The Hush Sound)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crisis of Faith

I was thinking, the other day, about how you can get to a place where you think you're doing really well and you're happy with yourself, but then something hits you and you get brought down again. That's what's happened today. I won't say quite what, because I'll deal with it. It will get dealt with before I let it take me down again (reminds me of a song called Bring Me Down by Sia. If only my life had a background soundtrack like a movie does). It's days like this when I wish I had people around me that would give me a hug and just tell me that it will be alright and that I can do it.

Anyway, enough of the self-deprecation. I meant to write when I got in, but I haven't gotten anything done. After my drop in self confidence, I decided to have a nap to get rid of my tiredness. The good news is that I'm not tired any more. The bad news is that I didn't get any writing done. I didn't get any editing done either, which, I suppose, would come under the category of writing except that I mean them in regards to two different areas so please bear with me. I need to continue editing Dark Side of the Moon and then I need to finish off writing the two last chapters of Secrets/Spilling Secrets. The latter has started off really well and I'm really pleased with it. I just need to finish it off, but that will get done soon enough. Part of me wants to really concentrate on getting Dark Side of the Moon edited and done so that I can send it off, but, at the same time, the part of me that spiralled down into feeling as if I am totally useless is saying something about how there's probably no point in sending it to a literary agent anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I will, but sometimes everything just feels bitterly futile. Sometimes the fact that we've made our world so bleak and so hard for people to follow their dreams really gets me down. It's the same about people's concern with money. If I had my way, I'd be back in the days when we all lived in small groups in the wild and the highest esteemed people in our societies were the leader of the group and the storytellers. At least then I would seem to have some purpose. I'd really like to know what my purpose is, because part of me thinks that the whole purpose of life is to enjoy it. The rest of me knows that as a civilisation, we have mostly destroyed our chances of enjoying life. The world and all the people in it have far too many worries.

I also want to include this which I wrote in response to my friend's facebook status about an essay she has to write:
In relation to your anaesthetics thing, your essay should be: "Anaesthetics are weird. Checkoslovakian dentists think they're actually lost Russian princesses that they're injecting into your mouth. Other people think they are stupid devices that make you dribble and generally look like you've had a stroke*. Anaesthetics are also not something that should be used to cause hilarity... no matter how much I would like to steal some from a dentist, inject my dad in the arm before he wakes and watch him panic thinking he has had a stroke/migraine**. Anaesthetics should not be used as weapons of revenge for sufferers of severe migraines. Furthermore, no matter how much you hate needles and dentists, anaesthetic is not to be used on dentists who are trying to inject you to remove a tooth etc. Kicking the dentist in the face still does not mean you can use his/her own anaesthetic on them.
The stance on doctors using anaesthetics are different. If the doctor was Joseph Byrne from Holby City then he could get his OCD hands on me any time, whether it be an anaesthetic he was inserting or-
But I digress. 
Anaesthetics are just generally bad... Uh... Thank you. 
*Strokes are not Russian princesses either.
**It would serve him right for every time he has made out that my paralysing migraines are not a big deal.

If you want to mark Susie highly on this essay then a bag of money will be waiting at an undisclosed location. Give her the highest mark and it is yours. Just attach your bank details to her grade. Ciao!"
 I just want to point out that that is no slur on Checkoslovakian dentists... but my dentist is Checkoslovakian and he constantly confuses 'anaesthesia' with 'Anastasia'. As far as I've heard, a lot of Checkoslovakian dentists seem to have been taught that Anastasia is the correct term for the stuff they inject you with.

Anyway, I shall try to get to my writing/editing and find my happy place. I hope whoever is reading this has a more uplifting day (indeed, week) than I have had so far.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Butterflies Are Creeping Through My Spine

It must seem like I blog a lot. I do, but it's because I either have too much going on in my head or I just like to ramble to anyone who'll listen. Kudos to you if you've put up with reading my entries so far. It's much appreciated. I'd like to think I'm not too boring. If I am, then I sincerely apologise. I realise that nothing I have to say is of much importance in the grand scheme of things, but if it helps you to brighten a dull corner of your time then I'm sure it's worth it.

How late do you think is acceptable to send a Christmas present? Is now too late? I thought so. I still haven't sent my friend her present. I'm pretty useless in that respect, as it's nearly her birthday already and I still haven't sent it. It's not that I haven't meant to, but our post office is out of my way and when I have time to get there it's usually after it's closed, which is useless when trying to send a package. She'll get it eventually, but it may still take a while. It's sitting off to one side all neatly wrapped. There were originally two like that and there still would be if the person to whom the second parcel was going to be sent hadn't visited me over New Years. I'm considering waiting to send her the present for her birthday, complete with birthday gift too, instead. I'm a poor, lowly student so I guess it would cost me less to send it as one package than to send two separate packages. I don't know if that's true, but that's what my logic says. Sometimes my logic is a bit shot, though, so I could be entirely wrong. If I am, please inform me. What would be nice to hear is how long anyone else may have delayed in sending anything they were supposed to send. It would be nice to think that I'm not the only one who is just generally rubbish at this kind of thing. And if you're not rubbish like me and actually had a good reason for postponing then please share. I'm nosey and I like to hear other people's stories - I think that's partly why I got myself a formspring account.

You may have noticed that I added a list of links to my various pages and sites on the right. These are not going to be permanent. As soon as my new site is finished and this is iframed in, there will be no need for them as you will be able to use the site navbar to see everything that is described to the right. This is to help with my whole idea of integrating all of my social networking and everything else into one place. Not only does it make it easier for you to find stuff... but it makes it easier for me to show you new stuff! It will be clever and cool like that. As you can probably gather, I am extremely excited by all of this. I will be quite proud of it when it's done and moreso of the people who are sorting it for me. They really get all of the credit for how it will work out. I am simply giving directions as to what I'd like to see and what I'd like to be attempted. I'm fully aware that some of it may not be possible, but as long as they try as hard as they can (which I'm certain that they will), then I will be pleased and thoroughly grateful. 


This is where you get excited because I have taken a break from constant edits and have started on the last two chapters of what will either be known as Secrets or Spilling Secrets (see the poll to the right and have your say!). It's a major scene that includes a battle, so I've been putting it off a little whilst I did my editing. I wasn't just putting it off due to the fact that I've never written a proper battle scene before, but because I wanted to try to accomplish as much editing as I possibly could before I jumped in. It needs a lot of thought. Certain characters need to be in certain places at certain times to make sure that I can get a particular piece of writing to play out. I realise that this doesn't sound very difficult, but by places I don't mean that they need to be in a set room or anything like that. By certain places, I mean that the battle has to be meticulously choreographed so that the characters who die are in the right place to die and the characters who are saved are in the right place to be saved... or the characters destined to die might accidentally live and those who are supposed to live might fall down a rabbit hole or something. Is that as confusing as it sounded in my head?

I've only really had to choreograph one scene before and that was definitely not as complicated as a fast battle scene. I have to ensure that I write in third person, too. If you read the formspring question I was asked then you will already know about the viewpoints in the stories: In Shadows & Ghosts I noticed chapters generally alternate between first-person Jocasta and a separate third-person subplot. Do you think of these as paired off, with two consecutive chapters happening simultaneously or is it all chronological? This is done consciously; however, I usually leave the first person scenes to my main MC (unsurprisingly, perhaps, that's Jocasta Lizzbeth Moonshadow). This is different, though. Jo will be in the scene and yet it is going to be third person. This means I have to make sure that I don't slip into it by accident. Usually, I like to let Jo tell her story where she can and I write the other things in third person, but in this case it is imperative that Jo does not record it. This isn't to say that she wouldn't record it if she could... but in these ending chapters and their battle scene there is the distinct possibility that she may never write anything down again...

I'll let you wonder why that may be and hope that I haven't given anything away. 

You never know, I might leave it all at a bloody end right there. After all, I do so like destroying the lives of my characters and putting them in pain. Happy hypothesising and please don't forget to comment!

(Lyrics in the title are from Roses And Butterflies by Making April)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Murder Your Darlings

I read the title of today's journal post (it's a blog, let's face it, but I prefer calling it a journal. I think it's a much nicer word if I'm honest. It rolls off the tongue instead of dropping off it like a loose tile crashing from a roof) in a book called Wannabe A Writer? If you're starting out as a writer, I recommend it. It's funny and informative at the same time. I was reading it on the bus, shortly before I turned to look out of the window and the bus jolted, causing me to smack into the glass pane with a rather loud thud - my day has not been going overly well. 

[I would have continued there but my ginger cat (Baby) rather unfortunately spent about ten minutes pushing himself onto my lap and seems to have drooled all over me but not before he felt he had to move my mouse around my touchpad... and now he has left and I have been engaged in conversation with my mother - the joys of family and cats]

The point I was trying to get to was what the quote was about. It's apparently in reference to your writing. What it means is that if there is a piece in your writing that you love, then you should chop it out because it will undoubtedly by superfluous. I'm in agreement with the writer of Wannabe A Writer? - I think it's absolute twaddle. In most cases, the pieces that you like are liked because of their written merits and not because you're going all fan girl about what has just happened. When I read the original statement, however, that was not what sprang to my mind. Maybe I'm particularly vicious and vindictive at heart (I wouldn't say so but I bet some people disagree), because it made me think instantly of the trials and tribulations that I force my characters through. It's very rare that I allow them to come through unscathed. And by unscathed, I mean that they are usually in either mental or physical pain or quite often both.

You might ask why I'm training to be a primary school teacher when I embody such attributes, but I assure you that I leave all of my cruelty to my characters. This isn't to say that I would treat my own children in the same way that I treat them, either. So for me 'murder your darlings' would be about torturing and occasionally killing off some of my favourite characters and the fact that I love doing that to them. I'm sure (I hope) there are plenty of other people that do the same thing and enjoy it just as much (no matter how sadistic that might be).

Anyway, moving on to my formspring question that you might want to take a look at and that I shall expand up on in a moment: How long have you been writing novels? Have you always just written about urban fantasy? 

In regards to my last sentence, I have tried to write more realistic fiction and I do have several serials on the go. The trouble is that these serials take up time that I sometimes don't have so they're very slow to reach completion. If I'm right, then I have at least two serials of realistic fiction that need finishing off. I also write collaboratively. One of these collaborative pieces is leaning more towards the action/adventure and sci-fi categories. Then, I also have a supernatural piece that needs completing, which is set further back in history. Currently, the links to them can all be found on my portfolio, but, hopefully, when my new site is up and running all of my serials and short stories will be on there. This should make it easier and more accessible to everybody. I plan to move my poetry there, too. I'm considering writing more short stories as these take up less of my time, whilst still continuing with my serials. Progress on the serials, however, is unlikely to speed up at present. I should, furthermore, be incorporating some of my artwork onto the new site, but I'm unsure as to how this is going to work out. You will all be kept posted, however.

The poll results are in regarding the name change of The Secrets Were Spilling At The Seams in my JLM Series. It turns out, however, that the results are tied between Andrew's suggestion of Spilling Secrets and the shortened version of plain old Secrets. I think both sound much less clunky than their predecessor. Nevertheless, I am left with the dilemma of which name to choose. I know which I personally like and I'm probably going to go with this. Still, a public vote on it might show me how much support I have for my personal favourite, so I won't mention which it is. The new poll will be going up very shortly. Results day is probably going to be Friday night so please don't hesitate to show your preference before the time runs out.

For the blog, I'm thinking of adding a small section with terms and meanings, too, for those of you who may read and have absolutely no idea what in blue blazes I may be squawking on about. So after the poll has been sorted out then this section may appear, too. 

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Procrastinators of the World Unite! ...Maybe Tomorrow

The title really has nothing to do with what I'm writing today, but everything to do with a discussion that I'm having on my SD (Sinfully Delicious) chat room. If you're really bored, then the link is here. The discussion was about how we waste time on the internet. If I'm honest, my amount of time wasting has gone down drastically ever since I got the twitter plug-in for chrome (the chromed bird one - it's really rather good if you're looking for a chrome plug-in). I used to spend ages with twitter and facebook open, checking to see if anybody wanted to talk to me, because, let's face it, I like social media and I like talking to people about random things whilst still being able to shut myself off in my own little world. I think that's possibly one of the best things about social media on the 'net. I don't actually have to interact half as much as I do in real life. I can withdraw and go into my own world whilst still being amazingly accessible to the people that I like. I'm naturally quite reclusive. Sometimes I just need to withdraw into my own little place. This usually means that I lock myself up in my room for hours on end either writing or hiding out on the 'net where I'm there... but I'm not there at the same time. For example, I have an awful habit of signing in as offline on msn, despite the fact that the reason I used to appear as offline is now completely void (the reason was an ex that I may or may not explore later - probably not. I've been through my phase of griping about him. I moved onto someone else and now I'm working on getting over him too. Don't you just love L.O.V.E?).

My point is, I've cut down a lot of things that meant I wasted more time than I spent doing productive things. The twitter plug-in has helped me to resist keeping the page open and the fact that I've started using twitter has reduced my usage of facebook. Of course, my tweets are imported to my 'official myspace' so I don't even have to bother going on there except to approve new friends and check out any comments I have, which is limited to about twice a day as I no longer like the myspace framework. As for facebook, my formspring questions & answers are sent there & twitter automatically. The same goes for my journal entries. I have them imported by (which also tells me how many clicks I receive) to both my facebook pages and my twitter. It's a really good set up and means less faffing about for me as well as a reduction in the amount of time I have to spend going backwards and forwards.

This time should be even less when my new site is completed. My friend tells me he's going to 'iframe' things in. I've been informed reliably that this is where you embed another page into your site, which will be great because I can then have this blog and my formspring all integrated into my main site. I also plan to have my tweets incorporated into it.

It brings me to something else I was going to discuss (Ha ha! Yes. I actually wrote a list of things I wanted to talk about today - I got the idea from one of the writing blogs I follow which is full of helpful advice for writers trying to get a bigger web presence). I've been thinking that I might quote some of my formspring questions here and go into a little more depth about them as there seem to be some questions that I get asked where I could ramble on for hours with a lovely long answer. The problem is that formspring seems to have a pretty unreliable server. It's always crashing or having technical difficulties, whereby you have to return hours later in order to ask your question or answer a question, again. It's really quite irritating, but at the same I quite enjoy using formspring as you can ask questions anonymously of your friends or of people you don't know but do admire. There's the option of deleting questions and not answering them, as well, if you get any that are abusive or simply inappropriate. It wouldn't surprise me if formspring got a lot more popular than it currently is. If it does, I'd like to reserve the right to say 'I told you so' in a couple of months time. This is a good example of a question a friend asked me where I've run off a bit with my answer, 'What was the earliest story you can remember writing?' There are other examples of good questions on there that relate to the writing of my JLM Series (Jocasta Lizzbeth Moonshadow). These have mostly been asked by my friend Andrew (NALGames) - you can find his blog on the right under the list of blogs I follow. He's currently charged with the unfortunate task of proof reading for me. He's halfway through Shadows & Ghosts and seems to be enjoying it, which is always a good omen.

I seem to have gabbed enough, today, about my various thoughts. So please click in tomorrow to read some more. And feel free to comment - sometimes I wonder if Andrew is the only one who reads my rubbish!